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Awards and Honors

Cabas Mijares receives NSF CAREER Award

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Ashly Cabas Mijares, assistant professor in NC State’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty members in science and engineering.

Ashly Cabas Mijares

Cabas Mijares will receive $566,155 over five years for her project, Multiscale Probabilistic Characterization of Seismic Site Response in Highly Uncertain Environments.

The project’s goal is to advance scientific knowledge on the response of soils to earthquake ground shaking at multiple scales and enable its incorporation into system-level probabilistic seismic hazard assessments for water distribution systems. The spatially variable geologic structure near the ground surface exerts a significant influence on the intensity of ground shaking (known as site effects) and can exacerbate damage to the built environment. Drinking water and wastewater utilities are critical lifelines because of the significant negative effects of earthquake damage on the ability to fight fires, on public health, and the economy.

The NSF funding will foster a paradigm shift in system-level seismic hazard assessments for water distribution systems to overcome current practices that oversimplify the effects of near-surface geologic conditions. Accounting for site effects and uncertainty can reduce damage and service losses and improve post-event rapid damage assessments.

Cabas Mijares earned an undergraduate degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. She went on to receive earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

Her research interests include the assessment of seismic hazards, performance-based design in geotechnical engineering, and prediction of the response of soils and foundation systems to seismic loading and dynamic soil-foundation-structure interaction. She primarily focuses on the advancement of the current understanding of the impact that local soil conditions have on ground motions, improving the assessment of site-specific seismic hazards, and elucidating the correlation between ground motion parameters and structural response and damage.